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Subject: Session Report rss

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Patrick Brennan
St Ives, Sydney
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Sunday night gaming; the role players adventured in their lair leaving 5 at the boards for ...

Richard recently received this 1981 Eon game on a trade for $5 and proceeded to wipe the floor with us.

The game comes with 4 types of runes, or sticks, with which you can make up the 26 letters of the alphabet (ie short curves or u's, half-circles, short sticks, long sticks ... which led inexorably to questions like 'do you have a short stick' with suitably phallic replies). Each person secretly chooses a 5 letter word. On a turn, you pick any letter in another persons word and ask if a particular type of rune helps make up that letter. If it does, you get a point and another guess. If it doesn't, end of go and the other player gets a point instead.

At any time you can guess another player's word. If you get it right, you score points for the full number of runes that make up the completed word. If wrong, you lose a point for each rune that has so far been guessed correctly on the incomplete word. If you guess correctly, and you're 25 points or more before the guess, you win the game.

There are more long /short sticks than curves, so most early guesses were trying to place these. Richard sprung out to an early lead, increased it when he successfully guessed my MISTY (to Andrew's chagrin as he'd also guessed it but had forgotten you can guess at any time, not just on your own turn) and won the game when he got Craig's HOUSE.

For anyone who has trouble visualising or cycling through word possibilities from incomplete pictures (count me, and I suspect Craig as well), this is a truly horrible game. If you like this sort of puzzle, it may appeal - Richard and Andrew liked it well enough. In between turns is spent trying to puzzle out other people words (so there's little perceived downtime) and your go is typically spent working on the word of whoever's coming last (any guesses as to that might have been given my word was guessed by two people!) so if you're not successful, at least its only the last player that gets a point. But the big points are in guessing the words. If you can't do that, you can't win.

Final scores were Richard 34, Andrew 14, Craig 11, Pat 8.

My rating is a 4 for 'below average, doesn't get me' (using the Svellov Scale). I was tempted to go lower but I didn't actively dislike it - its just not for me. Though if I play again, I'll be asking if we can use 4 letter words ;-)
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